Pre-workout nutrition is often something thought about by endurance athletes. The connection is there; the longer they run, cycle or swim, the more fuel they burn, the more electrolytes the loose. You can physically feel the sweat crusted on your face, and “the wall” will stop even the fittest in their tracks. But what about those who favour more of a highly intense, short duration type of workout? Is there a need to replenish, when your post-workout shake is literally only 45 minutes away?
Yes! What you sip on during these types of workouts has huge implications on your performance. Power/strength athletes typically engage in brief, rapid movements lasting about 10 seconds. These types of activities are fueled by the phosphagen system in our body, which relies on breakdown of a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This molecule is found in our muscle cells, and when called upon for action donates a phosphate bond, creating a molecule known as adenosine diphosphate (ADP). Trouble is – it’s in limited supply.
While we are able to convert ADP back into ATP for more energy, we rely on a source of phosphate, and given the nature of these workouts, we need that source pretty quickly. Creatine monohydrate plays a critical role in this, and provides that phosphate bond, allowing our body to replenish ATP quickly and us to hit our next sprint or rep as hard as the first.
Another thing that power/strength athletes must consider is their available pool of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). As the name suggests BCAAs are a branched form of amino acids, which makes them structurally and metabolically different than other amino acids. BCAAs are the only type of amino acids not degraded by the liver, which allows them direct entrance into our bloodstream where they can be used for energy during exercise…. Note the theme? Who doesn’t love a little more energy? BCAAs have also been shown to lower lactate levels after resistance training, increase growth hormone circulation, and reduce muscle damage, which in turn improves recovery time.
BCAAs can comprise up to 1/3 of our muscle protein and are continually released by the liver in response to increased demands for them, as well as to help stabilize blood glucose levels, where they may account for up to 40% of blood sugar production, meaning more fuel to see you through right to the end of the workout. In order to support all of these processes we need to make sure that we are getting an adequate supply in our diet, both during and after our workouts.
If you have been reading up on training or sports nutrition, you will know that exercise is actually a stress to the body that needs to be supported properly to mitigate the risk of illness or injury. Glutamine, a conditionally-essential amino acid, is one of our best defenses in supporting our body during times of stress. Since stress greatly impacts our immune system, and our immune system greatly impact our ability to recover from a workout, having a source of glutamine in the diet may help to normalize growth hormone, promote glucose uptake post-workout, and enhance the hydration state of the muscle.
The NEW BCAA+ creatine by Genuine Health is the perfect during-workout formula to help you perform at your best. Containing 10g of BCAA’s in the perfect 2:1:1 ratio (leucine: isoleucine : valine) coupled with 5g each of creatine and glutamine, it gives power/strength athletes what they need to achieve their peak performance. While other BCAA products on the market do exist, this one is unique in that it is 100% vegan, and contains nothing artificial. The refreshing lemon/lime flavour is ideal to consume during your training, as it is not too cloyingly sweet. Since being launched this formula is winning over even the toughest critics. Dr. Jon Berardi of Precision Nutrition has been quoted as saying “this is the best BCAA product on the market today. It provides everything you need during an intense workout. It tastes incredible, and contains no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. Not only do I recommend it to my clients, I use it myself”. Pretty great praise for one of sports nutrition’s best!
What you do at every stage of your workout matters. How you fuel before, during, and after will be the differentiating factor in doing well or doing your best. The difference between achieving your goals or crushing them. #ItMatters